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Home > Cricket > World Cup 2003 > Reuters > Report

SA didn't blunder over target: Coach

March 04, 2003 19:09 IST

South Africa coach Eric Simons denied on Tuesday that a runs miscalculation led to his team's World Cup exit.

South Africa were eliminated on Monday after tying their final rain-affected Group B match against Sri Lanka.

Set 269 to win, they reached 229 for six from 45 of their 50 overs before the day-nighter in Durban was rained off.

Captain Shaun Pollock told a news conference after the game that batsman Mark Boucher had been told 229 runs were needed for victory, when in fact 230 were required at that stage of the game.

But Simons told Reuters by phone that the situation was more complex, with the rolling run target, as calculated by the Duckworth-Lewis scoring system, changing ball by ball and no one knowing for sure when, or indeed if, the match would be called off.

"It was a bizarre situation but it would be wrong to say there was a miscalculation," Simons said by phone.

"If that last ball had not been bowled, we would have won and if another delivery had been allowed and we had scored two runs from it we would have been ahead again."

Some news reports have suggested that South Africa misread the Duckworth-Lewis grids, which show runs required to tie, not win, for each over of a run chase.

Simons said South Africa would approach the International Cricket Council with proposals to deal better with such situations in the future.

Under the Duckworth-Lewis system, victory targets are revised in rain-affected games. New targets are based on how many overs a side has left to bat and how many wickets have already fallen.

WEATHER REPORTS

Simon said South Africa had consulted weather reports which suggested there would be only be light rain during the evening.

"We therefore decided to keep our main focus on chasing Sri Lanka's target of 268 for nine in the full 50 overs," he said. "You can't ask batsmen to shift from one target to another.

"At first the rain was just light mist. We were ahead of the Duckworth-Lewis target before Shaun (Pollock) was dismissed but when he was run out the target changed again and we were behind again.

"It was only when the rain got harder that we decided to concentrate more on the Duckworth-Lewis tables.

"But even then, you can't ask batsmen to have a table with 500 numbers on it in their pocket, checking after each ball.

"We will approach the ICC to suggest umpires should carry the tables and make them available to both the batting and fielding side. Or perhaps they could be posted on the scoreboard."

Simons said Boucher had himself realised that he and partner Lance Klusener would have to make some quick runs as heavier rain began the threaten the match.

He said South Africa's 12th man Nicky Boje had run on to the pitch to warn Boucher of the exact situation, but umpire Steve Bucknor had not allowed him to get as far as the batsmen.

"You are normally not allowed onto the pitch except at the end of each over. We didn't want that final ball to be bowled but it was out of our hands," he said.

"It's very difficult to take in," Simons added. "You get emotional, angry and depressed in turn. Then you try to analyse what happened.

"There was so much at stake. If we had won, we would have been well-placed for the semi-finals.

"The mood afterwards was one of sheer disbelief."

Some media reports have suggested Australia also misunderstood the Duckworth-Lewis system earlier in the tournament in their match against the Netherlands.

© Copyright 2003 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.


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Number of User Comments: 3




Sub: D/L method and SA Vs SL match

D/L table as per the 2002 version, reads that for 5 overs lost while chasing and with 5 wickets down, the percentage of resources lost ...


Posted by R.Sridharan





Sub: ?

The D/L method, is a bit complicated, but you don't need to be a rocket scientist to understand it. Cricketers spends hours practising and playing ...


Posted by Last Man Standing





Sub: D/L scores - A simple solution to avoid the confusion

The Duckworth Lewis method causes revisions to the runs to be scored with every fall of wicket and the balance of overs left, whenever rain ...


Posted by Madhusudhan




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